Continuing Anglican churches have generally been formed by clergy and lay people who left churches belonging to the Anglican Communion. These particular Anglican Communion churches are charged by the Continuing movement with being greatly compromised by adopting what they consider to be secular cultural standards and liberal approaches to theology. Many Continuing Anglicans believe that the faith of some churches in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury has become either unorthodox or un-Christian and therefore have not sought to also be in communion with them. Although the term Anglican refers also to those churches in communion with the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury, many Continuing churches, particularly those in the United States, use the term Anglican to differentiate themselves from the Episcopal Church. Many continuing Anglicans feel that they are remaining true to historic Anglican tradition and Biblical Christianity and that it is the Episcopal Church in the United States, as well as other parts of the Anglican Communion, which have become unorthodox.
Anglicanism in general has always sought a balance between the emphases of Catholicism and Protestantism, while tolerating a range of expressions of evangelicalism and ceremony. Clergy and laity from all Anglican churchmanship traditions have been active in the formation of the Continuing Anglican movement.
There are high church, broad church, and low church Continuing Anglicans. Many are Anglo-Catholic with highly ceremonial liturgical practices. Others belong to a more Evangelical or low church tradition, support the Thirty-Nine Articles, and often alternate Morning Prayer with Holy Communion.
The Continuing churches in the United States reject the 1979 revision of the Book of Common Prayer made by the Episcopal Church and use the 1928 version or prior official versions of the Book of Common Prayer for their services instead. In addition, some Anglo-Catholic bodies also use the Anglican Missal or English Missal in celebrating the Eucharist.
Liturgical use of the 1611 Authorized Version of Holy Scripture (known in the United States as the King James Version) is also a common feature. This is done for many reasons, including aesthetics, and in opposition to the liberal or progressive theology that updated English translations such as the New Revised Standard Version embody.